BRAC designed a Graduation program for the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD) to be integrated within the Government of Lesotho’s social protection system, and worked closely with UNICEF, the World Bank, and the EU. The Graduation program is based on a Community Development Model (CDM) that leverages existing programs and operations within multiple ministries, as well as ensures concrete linkages to public and private sector services providers.

Program Outreach

The initial phase of Graduation CDM was planned to serve 2,000 households ranging from ultra-poor to poor and moderately poor across two districts: Leribe and Mohale’s Hoek. The ultra-poor and poor households will receive a full package of Graduation interventions intended to jump-start the progress of households. Moderately poor households will receive the opportunity to utilize a community asset intended to maximize livelihood benefits across the community. Key participant groups include female-headed households, youth aged 18-35, and older persons caring for orphaned children. Long term linkages will also be promoted within the public, private and development sectors to build the larger ecosystem to support livelihoods, employment, and enterprise development within the rural areas.

Integrating Graduation Across Government Systems

The Graduation CDM program aims to create and reinforce linkages between social protection programs and complementary public sector services, such as the newly revised National Information System for Social Assistance (NISSA), Child Grants Programme (CGP), and Public Assistance (PA). The program also forges linkages with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security’s (MAFS) extension services, the Ministry of Small Business Development, Cooperatives and Marketing, as well as public and private sector activities that increase the productivity of existing livelihoods and facilitate access to labor markets.

Linkages and Sustainability

Building linkages to markets is an important function of Graduation programs. Increasing direct access of producers to markets allows them to sell their goods at more competitive prices and avoid intermediaries. Training on building cooperatives can increase the bargaining power of individual producers and minimize risks. Conducting an in-depth market analysis before promoting specific livelihood activities as part of a program’s interventions is particularly important. This makes it possible to assess the viability of certain products in a given market context to reduce the risk of financial losses for participants.

  • Funding Partner: World Bank
  • Implementing Organizations: UNICEF, Ministry of Social Development
  • Participants: 1,600
  • Duration: 2017-2019

Photos from the field